GMAT Exam Dates 2021

The GMAC has made it much simpler for the GMAT aspirants to book the GMAT exam date as per their convenience. Unlike other entrance tests, the dates of the GMAT exam are quite flexible. It can be taken throughout the year. You may book a test date even 24 hours before the scheduled time. Test dates are available on all days, except Sundays and a few public holidays. It can be taken five times in a year and can be re-attempted after 16 calendar days. However, the total number of attempts for the GMAT in a lifetime is eight. Before you register for the GMAT, you need to check the availability of seats at the preferred test centre. The GMAT is conducted at 39 test centres spread across 34 cities in India. Find the nearest test centre at https://www.mba.com/exams/gmat/before-the-exam/register-for-the-gmat-exam/find-a-test-center

Even though test dates are, generally, easily available, it is important that while booking the test you must keep two things in your mind.

  1. UNIVERSITY DEADLINES — Keep your university deadlines in mind while booking the GMAT test date because these scores need to reach your preferred B-school before or by the application deadline. Hence, while deciding your test date, please be mindful of the time frame and leave enough window for the process to be completed before the deadlines. Ideally, you must take the GMAT at least 5 to 6 months before the deadlines so that there is ample time for writing essays and resumes, and arranging LORs (Letter of Recommendations). These take a significant amount of time; at least a month.
  2. PREPARATION – Test preparation plays a critical role. There is no point in booking a test date if you are not fully prepared. The objective of taking the GMAT is to secure the score which can get you admission to the B-school of your choice. If you are not fully prepared and do not get the desired score on the GMAT, you will have to retake the test, which will be sheer wastage of time and money. So, prepare yourself well for the test.

 

HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE EXAM

You can register a maximum of 6 months in advance. You can schedule the exam in any of the following three ways:

  • Online: Create your account on mba.com to register and finish the registration process. (Note: This is the most popular way of registration.)
  • Phone: Make a call to the GMAT Customer Service for your region (Note: You may be charged an additional service fee of US$10)
  • Postal mail: Fill out and send in the GMAT Appointment Scheduling Form. Please ensure that your details & documents reach at least 10 days before your preferred test date

 

PLANNING TEST DATE

  • Plan for the GMAT well in advance keeping in mind your target score on the GMAT and admission deadlines. This will help you choose the right date for the test and will also help you avoid unnecessary rescheduling of the test date later.
  • There should be enough time between your test-taking date and the deadlines for various B-schools you intend to apply. You may have to retake the test to improve your scores on the GMAT. Keep enough windows for that too.
  • Make sure you take a couple of mock tests before you book the test date. Your scores in the mock tests will help you in deciding the time it will take you to reach your dream score.

 

REGISTERING FOR THE GMAT

  • You may register for the GMAT 6 months to 24 hours before the preferred test date. It is advisable to take the test date as early as possible in order to get the test date and time of your choice.
  • If you want to take the test on a specific day and no time slot is available, keep an eye and check the registration page on mba.com regularly. If you are lucky, you may find an available slot after waiting for a few days. This happens when some test-taker reschedules or cancels the exam.
  • Make sure your name mentioned at the time of registration matches with your name mentioned in your proof of identity.
  • Please ensure that the GMAT test date & test centre you have mentioned while registration is correct.
  • Pay for your exam by credit card or debit card, check, or money order. Only credit cards are accepted in India for registration purposes.
  • Make sure your passport is valid and is not going to get expired soon. Entry to the exam centre will not be allowed if the passport is not valid.
  • Generally, several time slots are available in a day for taking an exam at the test centre. You will find both morning and afternoon slots (if all seats in a particular slot are not taken). Pick a slot according to your comfort. See if you are a morning person or an afternoon person. You would not like to take the test when you feel most sleepy. Also, it is advisable to take at least 4 to 5 mock tests in the same time slot before your actual exam so that you get a hang of taking the test during that time slot. Conditioning of mind is important.

 

RESCHEDULING AND CANCELLING THE GMAT

You may reschedule or cancel the exam and even change the test centre within 24 hours of the scheduled appointment time by paying a fee. Visit mba.com for checking the latest fee. Select your country to know the pricing regulations. The rescheduling fee or refund in case of cancellation of the test depends on the number of days left before the appointed test date.

Remember that you must have more than 24 hours in order to do so. Otherwise, your entire fee will be forfeited and you will have to pay the full fee in case of rescheduling the test date.

 

NUTSHELL

  1. Test dates are available throughout the year. But, you need to plan the GMAT in advance to get the desired score. Plan your GMAT at least 5 to 6 months before the admission deadlines.
  2. Look for test centres in or near your area well in advance. There are several test centres available in the metro and other cities. Consider distance, location, and reviews of the test centre. The quality of the test centre matters a lot.
  3. Go through the registration instructions on mba.com cautiously before or while preparing for the GMAT to ensure that you understand the integrities of the GMAT and other registration guidelines. You would not like to surprise yourself with new information at the last moment. For example, you should have a valid passport at the time of taking the test. If you take an expired passport to the test centre, your entry will be prohibited.
  4. Research on preferred B-schools before you start prepping up for the GMAT is indispensable. Check the GMAT score eligibility for each school in order to plan your GMAT preparation. Higher GMAT target score implies more time for the preparation.
  5. Take a couple of mock tests to know where you stand and how much preparation time is needed. This will aid you in deciding the test date.
  6. Check special scheduling instructions if you have a disability and require any testing accommodations.

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FAQ's

When to book GMAT Test Dates?

The candidate must book the test date only when he/she is fully prepared for the exam. The GMAT registration costs $250 which is not a small amount for most of the candidates. Also, if you need to take the test again, you will have to wait for at least 16 days to register for the next test date. Thus, it is important to book the test date wisely.

How many times the GMAT Exam is conducted in a year?

The GMAT exam is conducted all round the year except on some public holidays. You can check the available test dates on mba.com after creating an account. You can book a test date 6 month in advance. Also, note that you cannot take the GMAT exam more than 5 times in a rolling year. You will have to wait for at least 16 days from the last GMAT test attempt to retake the exam.

What is the difference between GMAT and CAT?

There is a huge difference between GMAT and CAT.
The GMAT is offered on demand year-round. You can take it 5 times in a rolling year with an interval of 16 days between two tests. Maximum number of attempts in a lifetime is 8. However, the CAT is administered only once in a year.

  • You have the option of rescheduling the GMAT exam. You cannot do so on the CAT exam.
  • You can select the section order on the GMAT. No such option available on the CAT.
  • The GMAT score is valid for 5 years; the CAT score is valid for 1 year.
  • The GMAT is accepted by more than 7,000 programs at approximately 2,300 graduate business schools worldwide. This includes some leading Indian B-schools too.

However, the CAT is accepted by IIMs and some other Indian B-schools. Check the link for more understanding on GMAT vs CAT

How difficult is it for applicants to schedule an appointment for the GMAT™ exam?

The process for scheduling the GMAT exam is quite simple and involves very few steps.

1. Go to mba.com and ‘Sign up’ to create an account. Fill in your first name, last name, email id, and new password. This will not take more than 2 minutes.

2. Initiate the registration process. You will see 2 options – FUTURE GMAT ONLINE EXAMS and FUTURE GMAT TEST CENTER EXAMS. Pick one as per your requirement.

3. Create a GMAT profile. Make sure that your name, address, date of birth, and other information match EXACTLY with the information on your ID proof. In India, only a passport is accepted as ID proof to sit for the GMAT exam. Filling Educational history, work history, and native language is optional. It will take around 5 to 8 minutes to fill the form if you will not fill in the optional information. Save the profile.

4. Find a test centre near you, confirm exam details, pay for your exam, and the registration is complete. Be careful when you are at this step. Double check all the information. This will take around 15 to 20 minutes. The whole registration process including the sign up will take around 20 to 25 minutes.

How do I cancel or postpone my GMAT exam date?

You can cancel the GMAT appointment and a fixed amount will be refunded into your account. You can, also, reschedule the GMAT exam date by paying a fixed amount. The cancellation and reschedule fees can be checked on mba.com. Remember that you cannot reschedule or cancel the appointment within 24 hours of the scheduled appointment time. If you are left with less than 24 hours, the entire fee will be forfeited.